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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Perfect Spot for Caleb's Posse

In the Dirt Mile, Caleb's Posse (5-1) cuts back to one turn in the race I think they've been aiming for since the summer, when, intentionally or not, trainer Donnie Von Hemel found what appears to be this horse's calling. Turning back from a series of mostly (though not completely) unsuccessful route tries, the three-year old son of Posse did benefit from a pace collapse when he stormed past the field from last in the 6 1/2 furlong Amsterdam at Saratoga. In the 7 furlong King's Bishop however, he ran down a resurgent and resistant Uncle Mo, getting the final furlong of the seven furlong affair in 11 4/5 seconds in a determined effort. The two-turn Indiana Derby seemed a strange choice after those two efforts, and I think that those who backed him at 2-1 that day weren't reading the past performance lines.

Now, again intentionally or not, Caleb's Posse cuts back to one turn five weeks after that 3rd place effort, exactly replicating the pattern leading up to the Amsterdam win. He faces a very nice field, but one in which the prospective front-runners, The Factor (7-2) and Shackleford (7-2) are, in my opinion, unsuited for this one-turn route, and likely to set up a pace scenario favorable for his late run.

No doubt he faces some talented rivals in addition to the two mentioned above. Wilburn (4-1) is undoubtedly sharp and on the improve, but has excelled at two-turn routes. Trappe Shot (3-1) is the fastest horse in the field based on Beyers and Sheets; but he seems a bit of an enigma to me. He was brought back this year as a six furlong specialist, and disappointed in his last two, whatever the track bias excuses may have been. Now he stretches out to a mile. May very well like that, as he has won at 1 1/16 miles, and he figures to get a nice stalking trip behind the front-runners. Will use on the tickets, but this seems like the wrong place for experimentation, and he's well worth standing against on top as the favorite here.

Caleb's Posse figures to be a very square price with a couple of familiar names in here. While I believe he's established that closing in a one-turn "sprint" is his best game (while acknowledging that he is stretching out from his two Saratoga wins; and betting that he'll, in fact, relish the extra ground...he has won, after all, as far as a mile and a sixteenth), I think that his rivals, as talented as they may be, are all attempting something unfamiliar. My best bet of the Breeders' Cup.

13 Comments:

El Angelo said...

I too love Caleb's Posse but disagree with your ambivalent stance on Trappe Shot. He ran great in his comeback race, walloped the field in the True North, and ran a fantastic race in the Vanderbilt, only to lose by a nose to the fast and erratic Sean Avery. His Vosburgh was over a cuppy track that he may not have liked and under a rather bizarre ride. I don't see why he would mind stretching out--his breeding suggests that he should be able to go much longer than 6 furlongs--and I think he and Caleb's Posse tower over this field.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm against Trappe Shot because the punters have a major love affair with this horse. He might be that good, but at the odds I'm willing to look elsewhere.

I also think this race is absolutely wide open. With all due respect, El Ang, nobody towers over anyone in this field.

I figure Shackleford kicks The Factor's ass at some point and they have to chase him down. Wilburn is my most likely winner, as he seems to be flourishing. Tapizar is my bomb. -jp

El Angelo said...

Trappe Shot has run the two fastest races of anyone in the field, and Caleb's Posse's Kings Bishop, to me, indicates that this is the perfect spot for him and that he's plenty fast to close on the speed duel that's going to develop. I do not get the love for Wilburn. He's run one decent race in Indiana where he got a dream trip and isn't faster than Jersey Town, let alone Trappe Shot. And maybe I'm crazy, but I think he's going to be around 3-1.

Anonymous said...

agree with anon @ 10:07am, and think shack kicks the factors ass. and inherits the lead heading home.

up to the post draw, i was thinking shack might get 4-5 at best (and was wishing romans wouldn't run him), but he got a sweet set up this time, with a true speed horse to his inside and an inside post--this is the first race all year that shack won't be coming from way out wide; it's the first race he won't be forced to fire the afterburners to clear the field in the first furlong. he'll be able to sit pretty just off of the factor for most of the race. plus tres borrachos will also keep the pace hot.

i don't think wilburn will best shack again (for the non-scientfic reason that horses that beat shack seem to run their worst race right after and end up behind him next race out).

i 'm not convinced caleb really wants more than 7 furlongs, and trap shot has only won once past 7 furlongs (more than a year ago).

a week ago, i didn't think shack had a shot, but now i'm thinking he might just win it.

given mike repole's asinine comment on tbg this morning about how mo and thirsty are the only 2 ky derby contenders left standing, i think it'd be pretty sweet if shack wins the mile and thirsty and mo finish up the track in the classic...funny how now mo is a derby horse...i don't remember him running in that race...

Anonymous said...

TRES BORRACHOS!!!

Figless said...

Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty will be hard pressed to win the 3yo race within the race in The Classic, think Ruler on Ice has a shot to clunk up for third behind my pick Flat Out and HdG.

In the Dirt Mile I lean toward Calebs Posse and Shackleford who I agree will be the last speed horse standing at the eighth pole and might win the whole thing.

steve in nc said...

Given what looks like it'll be a crazy pace for the mile distance, I understand the enthusiasm for Caleb, but I differ.

On sheets, his last four sprints are 4s. His last routes are 7s and 8s. On Beyer #s, he's also not nearly so fast at a route.

I'm expecting the Factor & Shackleford to set a hot pace. Baffert's horse can't rate and Shack never lets the leader get beyond a length.

Tapizar should get to sit right behind, like he did last November at Churchill. On Beyer, he looks slow, but on Sheets, he ran the same 4 in his last that Caleb did. I'm looking for big baloons with Tapizar, Wilburn & Irrefutable.

Figless said...

Having a GREAT DAY! Through in Tres Borrachos, 2k TRI!

Anonymous said...

KA-CHING, KA-CHING, KA-CHING!!!!!

steve in nc said...

Nice hit, and looks like you hit the previous race too. I'm glad someone I like has some of my money!

alan said...

steve - Thanks! Yes, had Amazombie and that exacta too, never would have had that one without the Sheets.

DiscreetPicks said...

Great call!

alan said...

Thanks.